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GIKPKC7 94107 Polynomials Page 1

Introduction
4/9/98
Definitions:
General Form: P(x) = Pn.xn + Pn  1.xn  1 + …+ P2.x2 + P1.x1 + P0.x0
Pn…P0 = Coefficients
Pn.xn = Leading term
P0.x0 = P0 = Constant
n = Degree

 Degree = 1 = Linear
 Degree = 2 = Quadratic
 Pn = 1 = Monic
 Coefficients = 0 = Zero Polynomial
 P(x) = 0  Real numbers which satisfy this are known as zeros
 Equation = 0  Real numbers which satisfy this are known as roots

Division:
 A polynomial P(x) can be written
General Form: P(x) = A(x).Q(x) + R(x)
P(x) = Polynomial
A(x) = Divisor
Q(x) = Quotient
R(x) = Remainder

3.x 3  5.x 2  17.x  32r 67

A
x  2 3.x 4  x 3  7.x 2  2.x  3
3.x 4  6.x 3
5.x 3  7.x 2
5.x 3  10.x 2
17.x 2  2.x
17.x 2  34.x
32.x  3
32.x  64
67

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Remainder Theorem:
Theorem: If P(x) is divided by (x – a) then P(a) is the remainder

E.g. x2 3.x4 x3 7.x2 2.x3

So, R(x) = 67
Check, P(x) = 3(2)4 – (2)3 + 7(2)2 – 2(2) + 3
= 67

Factor Theorem:
Theorem: If P(a) = 0 then (x – a) is a factor with no remainder
Note: The remainder must be a factor of the constant

E.g. Factorise fully P(x) = x3 + x2 – 10.x + 8

A P(1) = 1 + 1 – 10 + 8 = 0
 (x – 1) is a factor
P(2) = 0
 (x – 2) is a factor
P( 4) = 0
 (x + 4) is a factor
 P(x) = (x – 1)(x – 2)(x + 4)

If ‘n’ is Even:
When, Pn > 0
Then, Starts in 2nd quadrant; Ends in 1st quadrant
i.e. x2

x4

When, Pn < 0 Note: The graph need

Then, Starts in 3rd quadrant; Ends in 4th quadrant not touch the x-axis
i.e.
 x2

 x4

If ‘n’ is Odd:

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When, Pn > 0
Then, Starts in 3rd quadrant; Ends in 1st quadrant
i.e.
x3

Note: The graph must

When, Pn < 0 touch the x-axis at least
Then, Starts in 2nd quadrant; Ends in 4th quadrant once
i.e.

 x3

General Results:
Theorem: The graphs of polynomials are continuous every where.

Theorem: A least one maximum or minimum turning point occurs between

any two distinct real intercepts.

Theorem: For very large x, P(x)  Pn.xn

Theorem: If the P(x) = Pn.xn + …+ P0.x0 has ‘k’ distinct zeros, a1, a2,… ak
(where k < n) then (x  a1), (x  a2),… (x  ak) are factors of P(x)

Theorem: If P(x) has degree ‘n’ and ‘n’ distinct zeros, a1, a2,… an then
P(x) = Pn(x  a1), (x  a2),… (x  an)

Proof:
Since a1, a2… an are zeros of P(x):
Then, P(x) = Pn(x  a1)(x  a2)… (x  an)Q(x)
Now, (x  a1)(x  a2)… (x  an) must have degree ‘n’
 Q(x) must be a constant
 P(x) = Pn(x  a1), (x  a2)… (x  an)

Theorem: A polynomial of degree ‘n’ cannot have more then n zeros

Theorem: A polynomial that has more then ‘n’ distinct zeros is the zero
polynomial
i.e. P(x) = 0 (P1 = …= Pn = 0)

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Theorem: If A(x), B(x) are polynomials of degree ‘n’ and equal, then the
coefficient of like powers are equal.
i.e. a0 = b0, a1 = b1,…, an = bn

Theorem: If P(x) has, a multiple root at x = a then P(a) = P’(a) = 0

Proof:
Let, P(x) = (x – a)n.Q(x)
P(a) = (a – a)n.Q(a)
P(a) = 0
P’(x) = (x – a)n.Q’(x) + Q(x).(x – a)n  1
 P’(a) = (a – a)n.Q’(a) + Q(a).(a – a)n  1
P’(a) = 0

Roots & Coefficients of Polynomials Equations

15/8/98
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General Form: a.x2 + b.x + c = 0

Sum of Roots
b
One at a time: +=
a

Product of Roots
c
General Form: . =
a

Cubic Equations:
General Form: a.x3 + b.x2 + c.x + d = 0

Sum of Roots
b
One at a time: ++=
a

c
Two at a time: . + . + . =
a

Product of Roots
d
General Form: .. =
a

Quartrc Equations:
General Form: a.x4 + b.x3 + c.x2 + d.x + e = 0

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Sum of Roots
b
One at a time: +++=
a

c
Two at a time: . + . + . + . + . + . =
a

d
Three at a time: .. + .. + .. + .. =
a

Product of Roots
e
General Form: ... =
a

Roots for Equations That Can Not be Factorised

14/10/98
 Estimation is the closest one can get
 Always check answer

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Halving the Interval:

 If f(x) is continuous for a  x  b and f(a) and f(b) have opposite signs then there is at
least one root f(x) = 0 in the that interval.
 If one halves the interval several times, the approximation to the root will usually
become more accurate

E.g. (a) Show that a root x3 – 3.x2 – 9.x + 1 = 0 lies between x = 4 and x = 5

A f(4) = (4)3 – 3(4)2 – 9(4) + 1

= – 19
fi5) = (5)3 – 3(5)2 – 9(5) + 1
=6

(b) By halving the interval, show that that the root lies between 4.75 & 4.875

45
A Halve the interval = = 4.5
2
f(4.5) = (4.5)3 – 3(4.5)2 – 9(4.5) + 1
= – 9.125
<0
 Root lies between 4.5 & 5

4 12  5
Halve the interval = = 4.875
2
f(4.875) = (4.875)3 – 3(4.875)2 – 9(4.875) + 1
= 1.6
>0
 Root lies between 4.75 & 4.875

Newton Method:
 More accurate
 If x = a is close to the root of the equation f(x) = 0, then the x-intercept (a1) of the
tangent at ‘a’ is closer to the root.

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f a 
Equation: a1  a 
f ' a 
a = Close to root
a1 = Closer to root

E.g. Find an approximation to the root of x3 + x – 1 = 0 by using N. Method one and

starting with an approximation of x = 0.5

A Check if x = 0.5 is close to root

f(0.5) = – 0.375
Finding f(a)
f’(x) = 3x2 + 1
f’(0.5) = 1.75
f a 
So, a1  a 
f ' a 
= 0.714
Check if a1 = 0.714 is closer to the root
f(0.714) = 0.079 Good Approximation